A friend of mine died this week. I was shocked since she was so full of life and yet I know life is taking more and more folks I know, friends’ parents, friends themselves, even sadly, friends’ children.
What her death caused me to do, however, was to stop and assess. I have been spending so much time lately looking at purpose-driven organizations that truly want to be purpose-driven as well as those who “create” a purpose within the marketing department and yet invest nothing in the training and development of their C Suite and lower level managers. I can even get lost in the changing work patterns of millennials and researching the future of the work force.
What Jude’s death did, was cause me to look at my work life to see if it really was an integral element of my life and my growth or is it what I do when I am not doing “my life.” I say that because more and more of the corporate executives I work with consider work a demanding intrusion into their lives.
The old model of corporate and of business clearly no longer functions well. Eighty hour work weeks, constant travel, working with no meaning, and bosses with no understanding of the multi-dimensional demands on their employees have all lead to minimal commitment (longer hours does not increase investment only exhaustion.) and now millennials with no intention of staying long term. The employees and not the employers are slowly starting to dictate what is to be expected so that balance is found.
Politics is showing us there are two dramatically different views of who and what America is supposed to be, there is now also two dramatically different views of what work is supposed to be and how it is supposed to fit into our lives, if not reflect our lives.
Jude’s death called me to assess the extent to which I bring balance into my life. What brings me joy? What brings me a sense of peace? What makes me smile? Is my level of work making a difference on this planet rather than simply flaunting my productivity?
When I pass will I regret the number of hours I worked or will I know I made a difference on this planet because of the work I did? For most of my life I have considered my work my ministry.
It has been my work to bring love, spirit, and community wherever I go while supporting others in being their best selves and making their work the gift they are giving to the planet. Ministry after all simply means service, and isn’t that what all leaders are called to do?
Perhaps when I leave, I will simply know that whether at work or when with those I love I was ministering to all. What a wonderful way to leave and certainly what Jude could so easily say about her time here. What will you say when it is your time?
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